"Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him, and expect help from Him, He will never fail you." ~ George Muller
This will be really hard to compress the number of things I intend to write about, all into one post, so bear with me if this post is rather 'rambly' in its content. Well, for most Queensland kids, yesterday was the day that they went back to school, but for all those who are home-educated (like me), it was back to homeschooling! Is anyone looking forward to this new term? (I am!) I have enjoyed these holidays very much, it has been a time of refreshing, relaxation and blessing in many ways. Time to spend with family, friends and with God. It has been also a stressful one, with some trials in it as well, but the Lord has given peace and joy in our hearts, and that gives us comfort and strength, and with the Lord Jesus, holding our hands, and walking beside us, we can feel assured that He will never fail us, and there is hope and a promise for tomorrow. Just like this quote above says. Through the trials too, we grow stronger, the things that are not important in our lives fall aside into nothingness, and the things that are eternal, they only grow stronger and firmer in our hearts. If we realize that Jesus is Victor, and has overcome the enemy, that there is triumph in Christ, we need not be dismayed by what's happening around us. He is faithful, and we must lay every fear and doubt, every sin and burden, at our heavenly Father's feet. In the last few days, the verse in Psalm 55 has been a great encouragement to me.
"Cast your burden on the LORD,
And He shall sustain you;
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved."
Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)
Of course, I wasn't able to do everything I had hoped to do earlier on in the holidays, i.e. finish sewing that winter skirt I started, start the German CD course, cook/bake a special family dinner, practice exam pieces on the violin frequently :p, write chapter 10 and 11 in The Crown of Life, and finish reading two books I started earlier in 2011. But then, I did some other things, some important, some not so important...
|Christmas Dinner Setting|
|I enjoyed taking dozens of photo shots with our Sony Cyber-shot camera (it is super amazing. really!)|
|photos like these, capturing the simple beauties of life...|
|or the rain drops on a car window (we've been having a LOT of rain lately.|
It is quite misty and cool for this time of summer, but the rain isn't anything unusual. It just came a little late. So, I'm trying to thank God for the rain, too :)
Here are some random things that occupied my time during the holidays...
For one thing, I got my blog beautifully redesigned by Beauty Designs Studio, and renamed my blog from "Joy's Arbour of Reflection" to "Fullness of Joy", made my blog public and learnt so many life lessons along the way in that new part of my blogging journey. I thank the Lord so much for leading me, and guiding me, because without Him, I know I can never write anything worth to be read by anyone. Also I am grateful for my parent's advice and wisdom as well as my sisters' in this journey, as I would have made many more blunders without their help! P.S. I apologize for how unorganized I've been with posting serial posts (like Music To Inspire, Cup-A-Tea Poetry Corner etc...). I've procrastinated terribly with those posts, but especially with 'part 2' to the Lady Jane Grey post I had posted some months back and failed to write the rest yet. I'll try to get to writing that soon, but it can be hard to find the time to gather and write all the facts and stuff, so please forgive me if it takes some time. Thanks!
Holidays were a great time to spend with family, having fun and enjoyable times together, as well as times of prayer and meditating on God's Word together. Christmas and my birthday were one of those special times, that I'll always fondly treasure and thank the Lord for. These times with our families... spending time with our parents and siblings while we're still in our parent's home, dear sisters, are so precious. They will not come so easily again. So I'd encourage you to enjoy these times, thank God for the peace and joy He gives you in your family, and take time to create precious memories, and cultivate relationships with those closest to you. The holidays have been a great time to catch-up on old friends and to make new ones as well. True, I wasn't able to sea lot of you face to face, but at least we talked on the phone together, e-mailed each other, blogged and commented, or chatted via Gmail. It was truly a blessing and I thank the Lord for all of you from the bottom of my heart. Godly friends are a true blessing!
I don't think there is a time when our family plays/sings music together more than during Christmas (beside exams of course!), and this Christmas we did a lot of that. It was wonderful to sing praises to the Lord, and it was also great fun... we had frustrations when things didn't blend so well but also hilarious moments, when we just were goofy and laughed at our own mistakes.
During the holidays... I edited a few chapters from The Crown of Life, doing some changes (both drastic and minor) to plots, scenes and conversations. Something I had unanticipated and would have rather liked to avoid, I also bumped into problems with the name of my protagonist. His current name is Marcellus Gallus and I used to be really happy with that for a long time. Well, until I realized the pitfall in my main character bearing that name. You see, one of the books that really inspired me in writing The Crown of Life was The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas. It is a great literary novel to say the least, and the way the author described places, scenes and characters made me feel like I was living in ancient Rome with the other characters*. It inspired my imagination of Rome, and from then on I knew I wanted to write a literary novel with a setting in Ancient Rome. Now, even though I was greatly inspired by the Robe and maybe there a few similarities, the two stories are hopefully very different. At the same time, the main character's name in The Robe is Marcellus Gallio, and the main character's name in my novel, The Crown of Life, is Marcellus Gallus. Similar, no? I asked a dear friend of mine about it, but she was averse to the idea of changing the name, her two main reasons being that it was a great name, and second it would be very hard to change names now, when I've so deeply ingrained the name "Marcellus" in my mind and story. I couldn't agree more, as my protagonist has had the name "Marcellus" for at least two years both in my writing and imagination. I asked my sisters, they leaned to changing the name however, because they thought it could be too noticeably close to The Robe in a reader's mind. I felt that it made sense, especially as I have always had that fear that the protagonist's character was too close to The Robe's protagonist. Maybe a name change would also help me create a more original, unique character for him. Both my sisters and my friend suggested that I ask Abigail J. Hartman from Scribbles and Ink Stains, the published author of The Soldier's Cross her what she thought. She was so nice in her e-mail to me, and helped me a lot with my questions =D. Her response to that question was a mixture of both my friend's and my sister's response. She didn't think it was plagiarism like I had feared, and agreed that it is VERY difficult to change a main character's name so far down the track, but she thought it might be good idea to try altering his name slightly to 'Marcus' or something that would sound close, but would be different so that it wouldn't upset fans of Lloyd C. Douglas' book, and make it more 'original'.
Hmm, that gets me to my viewers. What do you think? As potential readers of my novel, what would you like the main character's name to be? I've selected a few name choices in no particular order below and if you have a favourite that you think will suite my main character, just comment and tell me! I'd really appreciate to know what you think... it will help a lot. Thank you! P.S. he will have a second name which will most probably be either "Marcus", "Octavius" or "Gaius". If you have a Roman name outside the list you think might be good, I'd love to hear that too
#1 Marcellus Gallus (his current name)
#2 Marcus Gallus
#3 Marius Gallus (the name I originally started with at the beginning)
#4 Julian Gallus
#5 Justin Gallus
#6 Octavius Gallus
#7 Quintus Gallus
#8 Ammianus Gallus
#9 Justus Gallus
#10 Ianus Gallus
#11 Julius Gallus
#12 Sergius Gallus
#13 Valerian Gallus
#14 Valerius Gallus
Oh dear! I could write lots more, but I better close now, and leave the rest for later (a book review coming soon!). I pray you have a blessed night/day and may the Lord Jesus richly bless you, dear sisters, and be with you.
~Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
(Psalm 124:8 NKJV)~